It would be great if we only had to deal with a problem once in life. Sign me up for one oil change, one dental check up, one house painting, one bout of the flu and mostly, one episode or invasion of pesky ants! First off, even the best, most current treatments only last so long. All chemical components immediately start to dissipate upon usage and when you add in the environmental elements (namely rain and heat), there efficacy can only be counted on for so long. However, that is only half of the equation. Mother nature still has technology beat in many categories, on of which is pheromones. Pheromones are the naturally occurring chemicals and scents that most living things put out. They are critical in communal settings for a number of important functions, including mating, self-defense, and feeding. Ant pheromones (as well as those for many other common household pests such as bees and wasps) can last well over a year. Sometimes, in ideal conditions, they can exceed two years. As you can see, this beats out the effective time frame of available treatments.

New ants can pick up the scent trail of past ants

Sometimes, an ant problem never really gets solved. If an over the counter type of treatment is used, mostly just contact killing is occurring (despite what the sales information on the container says.) The problem just temporarily subsides. Other times, the root of the problem, the colony, is actually destroyed or killed out. In this case, the solution is off to a good start but not necessarily completely solved. Even when the colony had been killed off, the pheromones of the deceased ants remain in the form of trails. These pheromone trails stick around as signposts to new ants strolling through the neighborhood. When they pick up on these scents, they are basically told, in simple terms, “hey, other ant’s have been here before, you should check it out!” And alas, if the stray forager likes what it finds, the start of a new colony is born. This phenomenon exhibits the importance of periodic, follow up treatments for a stretch of time. Subsequent and systematic follow up treatments will eventually form a barrier that new ants will not pass until the pheromones fully dissipate. While any ant can eventually crawl anywhere, everything you can do to make your house less attractive to new infestation will go along way towards better long-term pest management. If you are ready to make your home less hospitable to ant and other pests, call us today!